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intro / tr shopping

Discussion in 'Boxers/TR/M' started by waltstradlater, Apr 5, 2014.

  1. waltstradlater

    Feb 1, 2014
    7
    hi all

    what an awesome forum this is... just the saga of the blue/red 355 was enough to log in, but i also wanted to introduce and ask a question.

    i'm beginning to look around for a TR/512 for all the usual kid-poster-lust related reasons. i'm 38 and in CT and i have a question for this educated crowd if you all will indulge it.

    other than a competent PPI and knowing what you are buying mechanically, what did you wish you knew when shopping for these cars? little nits that get annoying about the interior, other than obvious warping/sticky/etc.? little things about the drivetrain other than diff and fuses, etc.?

    basically, it's me wondering what, other than the obvious, pro-level TR and 512 buyers focus on?

    thanks a ton for any pointers... i hope i can join this community at some point soon with a mid-12 in hand and contribute some thoughts of my own!
     
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  3. chabch

    chabch Formula 3

    Aug 15, 2010
    1,075
    France
    Full Name:
    Christophe
    #2 chabch, Apr 5, 2014
    Last edited: Apr 5, 2014
    Welcome! Your question is a tough one! You'll get all sort of answers I think, but in my experience, I guess I wish I would I have read more deeply this forum before buying mine. I would have simply pulled the fusebox connectors and had another degree of negotiation, but that's it in my case. The rest was perfect. I would stay aways from cars with big audio equipment in them or overdone customization. Definitely stay away from a dash with leather shrinkage, way too expensive or time consuming to fix. I wouldn't focus on finding a TR with an updated diff because you'll look for years! Buy a great one, and take care of the diff for sure if you want to keep it for a while, if not and you're comfortable with a little russian roulette game then don't. Maybe on last thing, and maybe it's just my personal opinion, but I'd try to find a car that feels "tight" (Mr. Chairman will go ballistic on this one!), and by tight I mean a car that inside doesn't feel loose like an old car where everything rattles. I know it's a Ferrari, but it's first and foremost an Italian car. The TR feels so much like automotive royalty on the road that whenever hear any small noise, I track it down no mater what. I love the rock solid "tight" feel of my car. Royalty just don't have loose teeth.
     
  4. okiedude

    okiedude Formula 3

    Jul 11, 2011
    1,013
    Remulak
    Full Name:
    Blake
    Now that I have a whopping 50 miles behind the wheel.
    The gated shifter is not like driving any of my other cars, it's different and takes some getting used to. Not bad, just different. The clutch is pretty heavy/stiff, not like my wife's Xterra or the Subaru's (hope that is normal?). Watch your head getting in/out, it's easy to hit it. The doors are really solid, they close with a thunk, that is reassuring. Closing the front boot, drop it down gently, then manually push on each side to latch it. The interior leather smells fabulous, does not smell like new car leather. It's old skool and I dig it.
     
  5. rpissm

    rpissm Formula 3

    Aug 11, 2013
    1,611
    Salt Lake City, UT
    Full Name:
    Joe
    For me it was first understanding the road I wanted to go down in my TR (no pun intended). Do you want a museum piece or a fun driver? There are a lot of purists on this forum and that's totally cool, but if you're like me, youu just want to give in to your 80s dreams and have a sweeeet Ferrari driver! In my own experience, I cared less about appearance and cared more for solid running gear. It took three years but I can honestly say I ended up with a great TR with only 17k miles on it. The tradeoff? It has a flat black wrap on it, an interior redone in ostrich leather, big stereo, and custom rims. Those mods would have turned off the purists, but it was right up my alley. Plus, because its exterior and interior weren't museum quality, I got a GREAT price on it!

    Just my two cents.
     
  6. waltstradlater

    Feb 1, 2014
    7
    this is helpful perspective... i've definitely been following and absorbing the forum as much as possible

    i am a little nervous that the gap between my mental image of what was on the wall poster and what reality will bring absent something like that black "time capsule" tr sold here earlier is going to be a little wide. i like the idea of a "tight" car - i have driven lots of classics and i have to say, the ferrari 328gts was the oldest one i drove that still felt very well screwed together. the american muscle? ugh, different story. i gotta get out there and start looking!
     
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  8. waltstradlater

    Feb 1, 2014
    7
    this is exactly what i'm looking for - i want to drive it and pretend i'm 13 again and blast around my hometown. a good condition driver with some suboptimal stuff is perfect.
     
  9. lear60man

    lear60man Formula 3

    May 29, 2004
    1,801
    Los Angeles
    Full Name:
    Christian
    Try to get a test drive first. Either the boyhood fantasy will be fulfilled or destroyed.

    If fulfilled, knock out the high dollar questions with a ppi (compression test, fuse panel, previous body work.) Its a 20+ used car, something will probably come back on the PPI. Look around here and find out if its a manageable fix. For me the differential question question was negligible because my TR was a low mile example owned by a high end collector IE older gentleman who cared for his fleet.

    Dash shrinkage can be a $1-2000 fix depending on a shop. Right now it appears there is a low inventory of good TR's. Seats can be restored fairly inexpensively and a carpet set is $1,300ish. Having the knowledge and skills to do work yourself is a rewarding and money saving experience.

    Good luck!
     
  10. rpissm

    rpissm Formula 3

    Aug 11, 2013
    1,611
    Salt Lake City, UT
    Full Name:
    Joe
    #8 rpissm, Apr 6, 2014
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 7, 2017
    Here's my TR. As you can see it's been modified a bit but it is beautiful. Removing the side strakes modernizes the look, in my opinion.
    Image Unavailable, Please Login
     
  11. Mr.Chairman

    Mr.Chairman F1 Rookie

    Mar 21, 2008
    2,944
    New Jersey
    Full Name:
    Robbie
    #9 Mr.Chairman, Apr 7, 2014
    Last edited: Apr 7, 2014
    Yes.. we all like it tight.. Tight is what it should be.. no one wants to be with the loosey goosey b*tch who went with everyone under the sun. Thats what the Lamborghinis are for.. There like street hookers suckin d*ck for crack.. Not the Testarossa.. SHe is nicely dressed and smells good too.. Look for one that has not been molested.. yes ... service history is good.. not nec. a bad thing to have a car that is due for belts.. I prefer to know who is doing the service and I like having it done on my watch.. The important thing to remember is that she will require sorting.. Find one that was loved and has some sorting is a big big plus.. Its like the previous owner is passing the baton over to you... When you drive her be assertive.. let her know that your in charge but your willing to hear her speak.. Listen to her.. She knows what you like.. She will deliver only if she knows you are interested.. She should be moist - water out the pipes.. Dont abuse her.. Finesse I always say.. Finesse.. She should be tight.. I repeat.. she should be tight.. More importantly its your job as the new owner to keep it tight.. Aight!

    R

    and now.. in song. lol.. I'm starting to like this "and now in song" bit..

    [ame]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pqbpZvtIQZ0[/ame]
     
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  13. Melvok

    Melvok F1 World Champ
    Silver Subscribed Owner

    Jul 25, 2008
    13,588
    Amersfoort, The Netherlands, Europe.
    Full Name:
    Mel
    #10 Melvok, Apr 7, 2014
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 7, 2017
    Did you find all pro'and contra's of bot different cars ? Now decided on going for a TR or a 512TR ?

    And WHY ?
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  14. okiedude

    okiedude Formula 3

    Jul 11, 2011
    1,013
    Remulak
    Full Name:
    Blake
    Mel, I think you are biased! :)
     
  15. Melvok

    Melvok F1 World Champ
    Silver Subscribed Owner

    Jul 25, 2008
    13,588
    Amersfoort, The Netherlands, Europe.
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    Mel
    #12 Melvok, Apr 7, 2014
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 7, 2017
  16. Bradwilliams

    Bradwilliams F1 Veteran
    Silver Subscribed

    I'll leave the main details to the experienced fellows on here. Listen to them, they know what they're talking about. Basically get the car mechanically where it needs to be through sorting, then worry about the small stuff, interior stickies, etc.
     
  17. khayes

    khayes Formula Junior

    Nov 1, 2003
    591
    Austin, TX
    Full Name:
    Kelly Hayes
    #14 khayes, Apr 7, 2014
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 7, 2017
    I really like the original version of the Testarossa with the single high mounted mirror and the single spline wheels. The three point safety harness is way better than the mouse track version in later cars. I did elect to paint the front spoiler and side rocker's in body color like the 512TR instead of the satin black that the first series cars came with. I also swapped out the flat black Cavalino Rapantes with chrome sculpted ones in the front and rear. I added some pedals and a chrome shift knob and extended the steer wheel about an inch and switched out the metric wheels for 16 inch wheels and modern tires. The best change that I made was to go with a Capristo exhaust system. The later cars have better performance but I'm not tracking my car so the cosmetic differences of the early cars were the better choice for me.

    Advice: Advice is worth what you pay for it and this advice is free so feel free to ignore it. I paid a premium for a car to have the engine out service performed by the seller when I bought it. He changed the timing belts and tensioners and water pump and serviced the car for about $9,000 with his local mechanic. I had to redo that service within a few weeks of taking delivery of the car for another $12,000 when the water pump woodruff key slipped out of the slot and the water pump stopped working. It was a $1.00 part that failed. Lesson learned, when I buy my next used Ferrari I will buy one that is in need of a full service and reduce my offer price accordingly and have the service performed by my own mechanic where I live after I buy it. Disclaimer, the $12k service that I paid for included new belts and tensioners and water pump plus I installed a Tubi exhaust that I later changed over to Capristo.
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  18. ozziindaus

    ozziindaus F1 Veteran
    Silver Subscribed

    Aug 16, 2012
    8,126
    Detroit
    Full Name:
    Sam
    IMO, it's about originality and completeness. Tools are replaceable but books and history are not. Yes I'm a purest prick down to the wheel weights.

    Look out for rust on the doors and undercarriage. Slight oil leaks are fine but water and fuel leaks could get costly.

    Good luck with your search
     
  19. Testarossa Lover

    Testarossa Lover F1 Rookie
    Rossa Subscribed Owner

    Dec 31, 2006
    3,593
    Newport Beach, CA
    Full Name:
    Haig Barsamian
    Reputation counts more than a car with just low miles... Avoid re-spray unless you have before and after pictures. Repairs have to be well documented.
     
  20. sherrillt

    sherrillt Formula Junior
    Rossa Subscribed

    Jan 1, 2009
    959
    Northern Virginia
    This is a "spot on" comment that I personally always stress to buyers and flat out says it all, but most people are too lacking in basic knowledge and risk averse to listen and think a pre-serviced car is better for some reason and they are willing to pay a $15k-20k premium for a job that costs $4-10k. I always silently dismiss all this talk of "when was it serviced?"

    In reality it is nice to know for trivia, but should not matter until "you" personally have it done. If someone is selling a car and servicing it, they are likely to use low grade inexpensive parts and/or alternatives vs OEM or better than OEM parts and service records can easily be doctored/falsified and there is actually incentive to do so in these price brackets vs service records on a Toyota - you never know what you get. I have had several of my cars service by "reputable" guys/shops and was left saying I'm unimpressed.

    On a side note about PPIs; most are garbage in my experience. I always see guys posting "by god get a PPI!" There is NO standard for a PPI. Make sure you get a full list of what they are checking before you sign on. Some shops just do a visual and physical inspection with a flashlight (you can do that), 1 mile drive, and quick compression check (any shop can do that) and lighten your wallet after this silly walkaround by a considerable amount.

    Bottom line: Buy the best condition within your budget tolerance doing your own cost benefit analysis keeping in mind everything can be brought back to "as new" or desired condition with money, time, and effort.
     
  21. vincep99

    vincep99 Formula 3
    Silver Subscribed Owner

    Jun 8, 2009
    1,852
    I did not know much about TRs when I bought mine; I learned everything from the experts here on F-Chat. There were no nits that would have prevented me from buying it. That having been said there are issues that did occur; fix them yourself if you are able, as you will feel closer to the car.

    Blake,
    Your heavy clutch is normal.
     
  22. okiedude

    okiedude Formula 3

    Jul 11, 2011
    1,013
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    Full Name:
    Blake
    Vince, thanks for the clarification on the clutch.
    PPI's can be a crap shoot. I was lucky and privileged given the source of my car. I don't think I would be comfortable buying a car of this caliber sight unseen. I spent an extra grand on tickets/hotel/food to go see/inspect/drive my car myself prior to purchase. Actually it cost more than a grand because my wife went out to DC with me, where our son and her family live. Guess who bought dinner and lunch 3 days in a row for family and friends in DC, home of the budget meal.
     
  23. twsii

    twsii Karting

    Jul 21, 2011
    65
    Birmingham,AL
    Full Name:
    Tommy Stinson
    I have had my 93 512tr for 3 years this june .all I can tell you is buy one with the upgraded diff
    for sure, most 93 and up have upgraded diffs but not all so I would check serial #s first. Be picky and get as nice a car you can get. Miles and conditon is very important, they are expensive to maintain but the market is head up! Dont buy a garage queen if you intend on driving it but dont buy a 50k mile one either. Mine had 18k on it and it is only a few hundred from 19k now. I would buy a US version because the actual production #s are lower to me that is a good thing. If I can be of any help let me know. Tommy
     
  24. sherrillt

    sherrillt Formula Junior
    Rossa Subscribed

    Jan 1, 2009
    959
    Northern Virginia
    #21 sherrillt, Apr 8, 2014
    Last edited: Apr 8, 2014
    "buy one with the upgraded diff"
    Why? IMO you can update it yourself if it's truly a major concern (not with me), why limit your search to only late model 512TRs (512TR is a 512TR)? buy a clean TR and if you are worried about the diff swap it.

    "Miles and condition is very important"
    Why are the miles important? if you intend on driving the car on the regular miles are almost irrelevant. Condition, I totally agree with, but miles? I have seen 30kmi TRs looking better than 15kmi cars. Miles usually correlate to minimal wear, but at this point over 20yrs seals, hoses, and component items have worn by age and not miles to a significant degree.

    "I would buy a US version because the actual production #s are lower to me that is a good thing"
    Good thing yes, but not by much as these cars age and are now in a classic status. If you are driving the car regularly, I doubt the US or EUR spec is even a factor as the miles will make the resale value delta increasingly marginal in signif. As the cars get increasingly rare over time the difference between a euro and a US spec becomes very negligible as condition takes precedence, just look at 512BBs, etc - it’s more about condition
     
  25. waltstradlater

    Feb 1, 2014
    7

    now THAT's some ferrari buying advice. obviously i've come to the right place ;-)
     
  26. waltstradlater

    Feb 1, 2014
    7
    #23 waltstradlater, Apr 8, 2014
    Last edited: Apr 8, 2014
    I have a sense for the mechanical engineering improvements made in the 512TR

    And I think the price gap generally between the cars somewhat gets at the differences, although obviously scarcity / collectibility and so on also drive that gap.

    I think if I was asked to choose the car on paper it'd be easier to pick the 512TR, but here's one kind of stupid thing maybe personal to me - I LOVE the rear decklid on a TR. That body-painted bulge over the engine just completes the lines and the look, and as it's diminished on the 512TR, I just find it diminishes the car for me a tiny bit.

    Now, I haven't driven either of them - I've only spent time in the 328, 355, and 430, so while I'm working with what a Ferrari feels like I don't know what a TR or 512TR feels like (or even a V12 ferrari) and so I gotta go see which speaks to me.

    I'm pretty sure one of the two will do some pretty convincing speaking.
     
  27. Jakuzzi

    Jakuzzi Formula 3

    Mar 26, 2005
    1,984
    PR, TX, GV
    Full Name:
    Jaime
    Stunning car! Enjoy my friend.
     
  28. okiedude

    okiedude Formula 3

    Jul 11, 2011
    1,013
    Remulak
    Full Name:
    Blake
    #25 okiedude, Apr 9, 2014
    Last edited: Apr 9, 2014
    Welcome to Mr. Chairman, a real wordsmith, which is an understatement. I would loved to have found a 512TR, but I could not justify the price difference between it and the TR. They are all awesome cars.
    The diff issue seems to jump out and could be more of a focal point than it may really be (putting on my my Nomex suit as I write that). When I discussed it with Richard, while purchasing my car, he said they had only done two at their shop in the last 10 years. One of those from a kid who had totally ripped on his TR, no surprise there. After giving me some thoughts on how to drive the car and potentially keep the diff intact,we decided not to change it at this time. He did sell me a Newman carrier and the OEM aluminum housing that can get torn up, I have both on the shelf and he suggested making the change at my next belt service. I have my Z06 for power launches-LOL!
     

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